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TENNIS FOREHAND LESSON | How To Swing Across The Body


Hey everyone, Jeff Salzenstein here, and in today’s video, we’re going to talk about, actually, a question that I got from a fan, and first of all, I want to thank all of you. I get tons of emails every day, and I’m loving this community that’s growing so many great questions, so many great people that want to get better at tennis, and I’m very passionate about helping you. So, getting right into what you just saw, I got this question that most traditional coaches are teaching players. To swing low to high on their forehand. Now, I’m a big fan of going low to high when you’re learning tennis and on certain forehands, but, even for beginners, even for intermediates, and especially for advanced players, you want to be able to drive the ball with the tight spin, and when you do that, you’re going to swing, and the racket goes more across the body. So, you’re going to focus on going across the body with your swing instead of low to high. So, I’m going to go ahead and demonstrate that one more time for you, but basically, the key to driving the ball is to swing across the body, and notice that my hand is going, going to turn when I swing. It’s not going to stay like this, and it’s not going to stay like this. It’s actually going to relax and turn, and then I add the last element of catching the racket, which we’ll do in another video someday. So, I’m just going to go back and do this again, and we’ll see you in a second. So, as you can see, in that video, what you want to focus on is swinging across your body and turning the hand. That way, you can get a tight spin, you can get the ball to go low over the net. And, let me know what you think, I mean I’d love to hear your comments. We always get great comments and questions from all of you, and we’ll talk to you soon. Thanks again.

David Frank

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58 COMMENTS

  1. miguell gran Posted on May 10, 2011 at 9:07 am

    this is also known as the windshield wiper forehand right?

    Reply
  2. albesca Posted on May 10, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Then … swing low to high isn't the only way to put spin on the ball ?

    Reply
  3. winston thao Thao Posted on May 13, 2011 at 4:47 am

    i wish my coach was as good as u man! aha great coaching skills! looking forward to watchin ur other vids 🙂

    Reply
  4. SPM088 Posted on May 25, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Great video, I learned low to high and as a player now I think it has really hurt my ability to hit through the ball. Nice tips!

    Reply
  5. ChrisfromNC Posted on May 26, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Hey…that's my forehand! Great form..(wink, wink!).

    Reply
  6. jrobtim Posted on May 26, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Roger federer does not swing across his body on wide balls, if you watch him hit in slow motion, you will see that because he has such a large hitting zone, by the time he starts to hit across, the ball has already left, he then goes across his body while recovering, not following through

    Reply
  7. lilokid0 Posted on June 13, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    he looks like drew brees

    Reply
  8. boingDC Posted on June 14, 2011 at 9:08 am

    It's important to mention that one should not abandon the low to high on the swing. If you notice Mr. Salzenstein's demonstration of the 'across the body' swing, there is still a low to high element to it. The whole point of letting the swing go across the body is that it is an efficient way to generate racquet head speed and a natural movement, the added value to doing this is the addition of side spin. A low to high swing is still needed to generate top spin, which is quite crucial.

    Reply
  9. antonarap Posted on July 12, 2011 at 3:16 am

    Jeff thanks for your great help. You must explain who you are in your videos, most people won't know you. You must tell them that you actually know your tennis.

    Reply
  10. Sun Gang Posted on August 7, 2011 at 6:26 am

    Hi Jeff, nice forehand. I was wondering what are your thoughts on straight arm forehand versus the double bend forehand. Previously I had a double bent forehand, After a while, the torque of the stroke puts alot of the stress on the elbow causing injury.

    Reply
  11. UBchristennis Posted on August 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    For me this is the fundamental change that the game has undergone. From receiving coaching lessons in the 1980's this guy has hit the nail on the head. Formerly it was low to high but I don't know if this change has been formally recognised within the manuals. This forehand (low-arm across the body with wrist turn) has quite clearly evolved over a 20 year period. The wake up call for everyone was when Federer unleashed it and won Wimbledon 2003 with this very shot. He re-wrote the text books.

    Reply
  12. liedetecter2000 Posted on September 5, 2011 at 5:59 am

    BABOLAT FTW!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  13. Cameron Wolfe Posted on September 16, 2011 at 2:08 am

    Hey man, at what height should the ball be when making contact? and I always have trouble over running to the ball and jamming myself. Also, on a ball with a lot of top spin should i take it on the bounce or just back up further and catch it on the way down?

    Reply
  14. liedetecter2000 Posted on September 28, 2011 at 9:47 am

    hey, just wondering, is that a babolat aeropro drive gt? or aeropro drive gt plus? could you give me an opinion between the two?

    Reply
  15. bilalaslamful Posted on December 3, 2011 at 12:18 am

    @CameronSeann
    from my tennis experience mate – you should be letting the ball drop and strike the ball low for power, hoever for more control and wider range for error hit the ball higher.

    Reply
  16. bilalaslamful Posted on December 3, 2011 at 12:19 am

    Hey is the racket a major thing? coz i got one and feel its fake – as whereas i can get power into my shots 50-60percent of time – i carn;t 100percent of time – my racket was on sale Wilson K strike Hybrid £40.

    Reply
  17. UBchristennis Posted on December 5, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Infact I'd like to correct myself. If you care to look at my channel (I'm not advertising it merely using it as a way to make a technical point) which is that even before the mighty Federer came along with the 'sling' forehand, Marcelo RIos had the technique down to a tee. There is some footage of him from the French Open 98 videos if you care to look. He had pure rotation. Surely he was one of the great innovators of the game at the highest level. A style developed all of his own.

    Reply
  18. UBchristennis Posted on December 8, 2011 at 9:19 am

    There may be some other players who also had this technique prior to Rios – it is possible, as it has been a gradual evolution from the top of the game down to the bottom or the base of the pyramid I should say – as opposed to low to high!

    Reply
  19. kostenis Posted on December 25, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    hey guys check my forehand out on my channel and maybe give me some advice

    Reply
  20. Mili Split Method Posted on January 12, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    All very true ! – but just not-experienced-in-tennis people may get little confused.
    (If you want deep ball to send from your base line spot – of course you need to finish up and not only across you body – unless you are high intermediate and advanced player where you hit in rising..).

    Reply
  21. andreeontube Posted on January 14, 2012 at 10:18 am

    the videos good..i was always wondering how to hit the ball low over the net with topspin..cheers Jeff

    Reply
  22. TEEZYWEEZE Posted on February 6, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Is it more flat hitted or top spinned ? Just wondering because I'm looking to start hitting this way from from now on . Across my body rather than low to high .

    Reply
  23. Wei Chen Posted on March 5, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    @rosalielove11 racquet speed may be slow which is causing you to make the contact late. you can try to make the contact a little bit more in front of you.

    Reply
  24. Robert Bedford Posted on March 5, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    finishing to low

    Reply
  25. 3Camj Posted on March 27, 2012 at 5:55 am

    I may be able to help with your question. firstly practice taking smaller steps when you get close to the ball and focus on making contact with the ball out infront of your body with your wrist still back. The second part really depends where you are in the court. Both shots are important to be able to hit it just depends on the circumstances. When the ball comes at you with noticeably more top spin that allows you to turn the face of the racket down more and go across the body like he showed.

    Reply
  26. laxlegend93 Posted on April 28, 2012 at 12:36 am

    damn…im having some real big problems with my foehand, and this just might fix it. cheers

    Reply
  27. multizeroMr Posted on May 2, 2012 at 9:12 am

    What is the grip style in video?

    Reply
  28. Austhyma Posted on June 11, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    I was told to hit the ball at it's peak, but it's better if you hit it in your "sweet spot" for whatever stroke you are doing. A topspin forehand/backhand, the ball should be a little bit below the waiste. If the ball is above your waste, there are a couple of different strokes you can do to still get top spin and pace.

    Reply
  29. Mike Black Posted on June 14, 2012 at 6:22 am

    jasonlikescats:
    unless u're just goofing off, Jeff did ALL the things u mentioned, no?

    Reply
  30. 5512sparky Posted on June 26, 2012 at 2:59 am

    nice, simple but informative…thanks! so instruction videos are just too long and unnecessary .

    Reply
  31. bigtomfrost Posted on July 10, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    great stuff! subscribed! check out my tennis videos too!

    Reply
  32. CPS123456 Posted on July 13, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    excellent helped me a lot

    Reply
  33. zenpanda100 Posted on August 6, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    so going to try this, i am currently doing the low to high motion and i am so inconsistent

    Reply
  34. stevebee92653 Posted on August 14, 2012 at 1:13 am

    Jeff. Great vid. You are right on as usual. You hit the ball below the center. Is there a reason? Most pros hit below center as well. What does this to to the ball? I'm sure it's not accidental, as it seems to be 90% of the hits.
    Thanks!

    Reply
  35. vjvijay1000 Posted on September 2, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Jeff I had trouble watching this video. coz I am a right a right hand player and had to watch this video in the mirror to follow it.

    Reply
  36. Kim Wee Posted on October 19, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Great tip, wish I had heard it years ago when help for my forehand was scarce.

    Reply
  37. David Bryner Posted on October 25, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Do you have any rational behind what you teach? Do you know the width of a tennis court? Do you realize your strings are facing down on all your shadow swings, which of course would put the ball in the net. Dumb video

    Reply
  38. Nick E Posted on October 25, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    my follow-through ends up at my shoulder and sometimes my neck.

    Reply
  39. FairwayJack Posted on October 30, 2012 at 3:40 am

    I am a low to high hitter…but my balls tend to sit up and allow my opponents to tee off on them…I realize your technique here has good merit but is it viable on low balls just above the knee or just on higher balls that are net high or higher ???…. also on the follow thru does the back of the right hand face the side ..or do I have my palm facing the side (as I do presently) ??? Thx !! Jack

    Reply
  40. aurus33 Posted on November 8, 2012 at 2:36 am

    Do you know who that guy is? XD He was a Pro player he reached the top 100. Dumb Comment!

    Reply
  41. XLheart Posted on December 24, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    What advise do you have for beginners like me who keeps on hitting high balls or my dad likes to call them snowballs?

    Reply
  42. FairwayJack Posted on January 2, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Do I hit up on the ball with racket strings angled toward the ground ??

    Reply
  43. Raven Burnes Kushner Posted on February 25, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    it's nice to see another lefty player!

    Reply
  44. Junior Jr Posted on March 27, 2013 at 1:45 am

    It's not just rational, but it's scientific. This follow-through is proved to be more efficient through biomechanic studies

    Reply
  45. Jogromm Posted on March 29, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    should I use the eastern forehand grip or the semi-western forehand grip?

    Reply
  46. Rob Posted on April 6, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    How do you generate more power? Do you have to extend the arm? I am known for "shrinking" my arm in.

    Reply
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    Reply
  48. brainfreeze Posted on July 13, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    That had been a concise explanation between the low and high and the across the body drive. Could you please tell in detail the wrist action on before driving the ball? Thank you so much, sir.

    Reply
  49. Claudio Prado Posted on November 11, 2015 at 12:46 am

    Well Jeff tha's the windshield wiper style and it's OK but the other one finishing on the shoulder level it's good either. I think all depends on the game situation. And if you don't hit low to high you won't be able to impart proper topspin to the ball.

    Reply
  50. wksoh Posted on November 25, 2016 at 5:47 am

    Thank you for the great tip…!!

    Reply
  51. honkeyness Posted on June 13, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    Wow – so this is why my follow through is never as far around as the pros. You must have the intention of going across the body NOT the intention of hitting low to high AND THEN ACROSS. If it was your first time ever to watch tennis and you so a pro hit you'd think he was hitting side spin (and they kind of are).

    Reply
  52. David Posted on July 18, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    How do you aim it if you are hitting across your body? If I do this my shots go all over the place. If I hit through the ball towards my target I am much more accurate.

    Reply
  53. Ja Cee Posted on August 18, 2017 at 5:44 am

    I think it depends on the kind of grip you are using, if you are using semi western , it could be possible but if you are using eastern grip, that is another story. Correct me if I am wrong. Nice video anyway.

    Reply
  54. Nikolay Spassov Posted on October 21, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Hi Jeff, this short video is one of the best that I have seen in the last 10 years. Thanks a lot!

    Reply
  55. Tennis Evolution - Online Tennis Lessons Posted on November 27, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    Forehand myths debunked: Former Top 100 ATP Pro, Jeff Salzenstein, is exposing 3 common myths that could be crippling your forehands potential. Most players make at least 1 of these 3 mistakes… Do you? https://goo.gl/vB1vxg

    Reply
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